First Lady Jill Biden was opposed to her husband selected Kamala Harris as his presidential running mate, according to an explosive new book.
Jill Biden expressed her frustration with the selection of Harris, who lashed out at Joe Biden in the first Democratic primary debate, New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns wrote in their upcoming book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.
The first lady reportedly said in a conversation that ‘there are millions of people in the United States’ and asked ‘why do we have to choose the one who attacked Joe,’ according to an excerpt of the book provided to Fox News.
At the primary debate in June 2019, Harris launched an explosive broadside at Biden, who at the time was taking criticism for remarks about working with segregationists in Congress. Biden had remarked: ‘at least there was some civility. We got things done.’
First Lady Jill Biden was reportedly opposed to her husband selected Kamala Harris as his presidential running mate after she lashed out at him in the Democratic primary debate
At the primary debate in June 2019, Harris launched an explosive broadside at Biden, all but accusing him of racism over his opposition to desegregation busing in the 1970s
At the debate, Harris told Biden, ‘I do not believe you are a racist’ but went on to slam his remarks as ‘hurtful’ and to accuse him of working with segregationists in the Senate ‘to oppose busing.’
Biden did oppose school busing in the 1970s, when it was a controversial measure to racially integrate schools.
In one of the most memorable moments of the primary, Harris then told Biden: ‘There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.’
According to the new book, Biden himself expressed reservations about selecting Harris for his ticket.
Noting her ‘past romantic relationship with Willie Brown, the California politician who appointed Harris to a pair of minor political positions,’ the book said Biden described romance ‘as the kind of thing that should be off limits.’
Harris had a relationship with Brown, who later served as San Francisco’s mayor, between 1994 and 1995, when Harris was beginning her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Biden reportedly described Harris’ romance with political mentor Willi Brown ‘as the kind of thing that should be off limits.’ Brown and Harris openly dated in 1995 (above)
At the time, Brown was 60 and a powerful figure in California politics, serving as speaker of the state assembly, and Harris was 29 and just getting started in politics.
Though Brown was legally married at the time, he had been separated from his wife for more than a decade, and Harris and Brown made no secret of their relationship, appearing in public together.
Despite Joe and Jill Biden’s reported concerns with Harris, she also had her champions in the Biden campaign, according to the new book.
Ron Klain, now the White House chief of staff, had been tasked with vetting vice presidential candidates and, according to the book he told Biden early on that Harris was most qualified for the job.
‘Yes, Harris had attacked Biden more harshly than any other major candidate in the Democratic primaries. Yes, the Biden family had seen it as a smear and a betrayal. In Klain’s assessment, that would work to Biden’s advantage,’ the book states.
Doug Emhoff, Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC
‘Choosing Harris will show people that you are magnanimous and forgiving, Klain told Biden. It will show the country just what a unifying leader you can be.’
Since taking office as Biden’s vice president last year, Harris has been plagued by sinking approval ratings, negative headlines, and a steady exodus of top staffers that has raised questions about the work environment in her office.
This week Harris’ chief of staff Tina Flournoy became the 12th staffer, and the most senior, to depart her office, after a series of reports about internal conflicts.
The list of those leaving now includes her deputy chief of staff, her speechwriter, her chief spokeswoman, her security advisor, and other figures in her staff.
It all comes at a time of increased scrutiny on the White House ahead of 2024, following a report that Biden told Barack Obama he plans to run again at the age of 81.
Rumors have run rampant among Beltway insiders that Biden seeks to swap running mates in 2024 — but he has denied those claims.
U.S. President Joe Biden pumps his fists as Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation on April 8
In January, was asked whether he was satisfied with Harris’ work on voting rights and if he could ‘guarantee’ to keep her as a running mate and responded: ‘Yes and yes.’
Pressed to elaborate, Biden said: ‘There’s no need to, I answered the question.’
‘She’s going to be my running mate, number one,’ he said. ‘And number two, I did put her in charge. I think she’s doing a good job.’
Other juicy details of tension and chaos in the VP’s office have trickled out in leaked excerpts of the new book, ‘This Will Not Pass’.
Harris’ office kicked up a fuss over a Vogue cover that pictured the vice president in sneakers before being told to back down by President Biden’s office who said concerns over the cover were ‘first world problems,’ according to the book.
Harris reportedly sent out her chief of staff to scold Biden’s staffers for not standing up when she entered the room, the way they do for the president, and her some in her office complained about Biden’s ‘all-white inner circle.’
They complained about Harris being assigned to work on immigration with Northern Triangle countries, and the VP herself hissed at Biden for calling her ‘border czar,’ insisting she was focused on the ‘root causes’ of immigration, according to the book.